This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Death Angel/ Soilent Green, The Old Ceremony/ Tony Scherr, Bonde do Role, Polvo, Government Warning/ Under Pressure, Frank Bang and the Secret Stash
VS.: The Cave Singers vs. the everybodyfields
VS.: John Darnielle vs. Thrones vs. Blood on the Wall
LAST WEEK'S PARTY: Earth/ In the Year of the Pig
SONG OF THE WEEK: The Death Set's "Negative Thinking"
05.09 DEATH ANGEL/ SOILENT GREEN @ VOLUME 11
Volume 11 continues its streak of booking heavy-hitters with these thrash 'n' burn highlights. Death Angel and Light this City hail from San Francisco and bring a trademark West Coast fury, while God Forbid and Soilent Green ride in from New Jersey and Louisiana, respectively. Look for God Forbid and Soilent Green to steal the show: They seem to have a little more fun. —Dan Strobel
05.09 THE OLD CEREMONY/ TONY SCHERR @ CAT'S CRADLE
When the many members of Chapel Hill's The Old Ceremony collide, the band's symphonic mood swings hit new heights of pop-noir precision. New York's jazz and blues guitarist Tony Scherr doesn't have that option: Solo, he works the magic of multiples with improvised melodies and kinetic jazz-lines. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Kathy Justice
5.10 BONDE DO ROLE @ LOCAL 506
Bonde do Role turns saucy Brazilian funk on its head. While the music, also known as funk carioca, bumps and grinds plenty, the group's Portuguese lyrics are X-rated comedy, like some stag party record dipped in the bubbling sex beats of Miami Bass. MC Marina Ribatski left in 2007, so the band held a raunchy audition contest via MTV Brazil. The two new female MCs they added earlier this year double the aggressive assault at the stage's edge. With The Death Set (see Song of the Week) and Diamond Studs. $10/ 9 p.m. —Chris Toenes
5.10 POLVO @ CAT'S CRADLE
Polvo and its then-label, Touch & Go, cited different member locales as the impetus for the band's 1998 break-up: Members were living in Boston and New York, and, as Ash Bowie told a San Francisco reporter, "It's difficult to get the material together. It just gets to a point where you figure, 'Hey, we don't have to do this.'" Guitarist Dave Brylawski still lives in New York, but Polvo's not letting distance prevent a second round. Bassist Steve Popson, Bowie and ex-Cherry Valence drummer Brian Quast, who will be replacing Eddie Watkins in this incarnation, have regularly practiced as a three-piece since November, and Brylawski joins once a month. They'll premiere fresh arrangements of old songs—imaginative melds of long, sinewy instrumental passages, crunchy four-minute anthems and American and international folk forms—for tonight's show and again at All Tomorrow's Parties festivals in England and New York. Des Ark and Noncanon open the 9:30 p.m. show. It's sold out, but, if history holds, you should be able to hear outside. —Grayson Currin
05.12 GOVERNMENT WARNING/ UNDER PRESSURE @ THE DOUBLEDOWN
These four acts carry the proverbial torch of old-school, fierce punk rock. Winnipeg's Under Pressure flies its fury with songs like "Human Meat" and "Whip and Rein," while Richmond's Government Warning spits social critiques like "Fat Nation" in 90 seconds. Spain's Invasion and Raleigh's Crossed Eyes raise fists first. $5/ 8 p.m. —Dan Strobel
05.14 FRANK BANG & THE SECRET STASH @ SLIM'S
Chicago's Frank Bang is a guitarist/ vocalist with a classic rock look and feel, an electric blues tutelage (having "studied" with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells), and more than enough soul to tackle golden nuggets like the O.V. Wright-owned "I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled & Crazy." And his rhythm section stash is much too dynamic to remain a secret much longer. $3/ 10 p.m. —Rick Cornell
FRIDAY, MAY 9
THE CAVE SINGERS
From: Seattle, Wash.
Claim to fame: Punk dudes playing folk music
The above description of The Cave Singers—a trio composed of ex-members of emo/punk/post-punk bands Pretty Girls Make Graves, Murder City Devils, Hint Hint and Cobra High—may recall the everybodyfields' revered labelmates, The Avett Brothers. But whereas the erstwhile hard rockers in The Avetts bring the gusto of their past to acoustic instruments and songs that remain about women, living and lying, The Cave Singers approach the subdued form with a too-precious reverence. The Singers are too timid to sell longing songs and too self-consciously balanced to sound like folk-man exhortation. Hooks occasionally skate above the surface (see "Seeds of Night" and "Bricks of Our Home"), and they find welcome deliverance in the gravel-lined nasal tone of frontman Pete Quirk. But, for a handful of gems, expect to endure a set otherwise comprised of flatlines. At LOCAL 506 with Wil Donegon & the Apologies and Kapow! Music. $8/ 9 p.m.
From: Johnson City, Tenn.
Claim to fame: Two voices that charm so easily solo and in harmony
The other two young bands on Ramseur Records are The Avett Brothers and Bombadil, acts of consummate showmen who spirit their songs on stage with extreme dynamics and buckets of sweat. But these everybodyfields, the middle sibling of the Ramseur Three, sing and play on a largely even keel, constructing workmanlike country stages upon which the voices of Jill Andrews and Sam Quinn become stars. They shine, too: Like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings with slightly wider and much gentler sounds, Andrews and Quinn peel apart and dovetail in exquisite patterns, etching a romantic waltz with their beautiful tones. The everybodyfields' twin voices (the words are fine, just not as special—at least not yet) are mostly perfect. With Tyler Ramsey at LINCOLN THEATRE. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
WEDNESDAY, MAY 14
From: Durham, N.C.
Since: As The Mountain Goats, 1991; this is his first book
Claim to fame: "We are The Mountain Goats"
John Darnielle, who has written detail-driven songs as The Mountain Goats for nearly two decades, has long been known primarily for his words: Whether detailing the mistrials and mishaps of the romantically doomed Alpha Couple or perfectly framing the image of a man surrounded by sprigs of wild sage as he kneels in the weeds off of U.S. 15-501, Darnielle's music has always served script first, sound second. Surprisingly, this is his first book, and the topic—Black Sabbath's third album, Master of Reality—may be just as surprising to some. But Darnielle opened a 2002 record with a song called "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton," populated his latest record with references to Marduk and Aura Noir, and writes a regular column for Decibel. No matter the shortcomings of the novella—the diary of a 15-year-old boy in a California mental hospital and a set of letters he writes a decade letter—as a whole, its text radiates off the page. Expect Darnielle, by now something of a showman, to make it even more vibrant in person. Start the heavy evening here. At the REGULATOR BOOKSHOP. Free/ 7 p.m.
From: Salem, Ore.
Claim to fame: Memberships: Melvins, High on Fire, Harvey Milk, Sunn 0)))
Joe Preston, who leads the one-man doom-ish/death-ish/noise-ish metal band Thrones, played in the Melvins in the early '90s (even got his own EP); formed The Whip with Karp survivors in the early '00s; collaborated with Sunn 0))) on the doom-defining White 1, White 2 and Black One; joined High on Fire for a few tours and an album; and now claims the stage-right spot in the best god damn Southern metal band ever, Harvey Milk. Wow. But Preston won't be talking about his résumé tonight, and that's fine, too: Thrones is a maladjusted one-man powerhouse, using bass, drum machines and manipulated vocals to build, warp and destroy metal structures you thought you knew. He's back in the Triangle for the first time since 2006, and, this time, two locals help him make a legacy case: Caltrop plays lean, long riffs at high volumes, and, like Thrones, In the Year of the Pig obliterates templates with two drummers, two bassists and a guitarist as given to feedback as he is to form. Late-night winner by knockout. At NIGHTLIGHT. $6/ 9:30 p.m.
BLOOD ON THE WALL
From: Brooklyn, N.Y./ Lawrence, Kan.
Claim to fame: Sister and brother move to Brooklyn; start band
Blood on the Wall formed when Brad Shanks followed his sister, Courtney, from Lawrence, Kan., to Brooklyn in 2001. The band's skuzzy psychedelic concision gained quick momentum at that fertile threshold, landing BOTW tours with Black Dice, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ariel Pink, The Kills and, later, obvious touchstones like Dead Moon, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. New borough indie The Social Registry signed BOTW early on, and, over three full-lengths since 2003, they've progressively focused and tightened their sound. Noise excursions have been folded into songwriting textures, and heavy trips are now alleyways instead of thoroughfares. The trio, which now calls Kansas home again, can still sound heavy and powerful, but mostly they just sound like slightly damaged alternative rock, an early '90s FM dial that sometimes sticks between the low stations. Decent, certainly, but they don't get the throne. At LOCAL 506 with Americans in France and Dry Heathens. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
LAST WEEK'S PARTY
05.03 EARTH/ IN THE YEAR OF THE PIG @ KATMANDU
Saturday night's Raleigh engagement with Seattle drone legends Earth didn't have a home for four days last week. After the announcement that Downtown Event Center, the Martin Street space for which the show was originally slated, had closed, D.E.C. booking agent Mike Dillon scrambled to find a new home. His salvation came, of all places, at Katmandu, the Hillsborough Street space attached to The Brewery, known as The Comet Lounge in the '90s and for its role in the Triangle's alt.country boom. Dillon not only met the band's high guarantee Saturday night, but he managed to pocket a cold, hard $5 profit, too.
Oh, and he now claims responsibility for one of this year's best bills: Beneath the neon-green glow of two bright stageside beer signs, Chapel Hill five-piece In the Year of the Pig sounded like
our incredible hulks, just faster and brighter and less vulnerable. The band's metallic Motorik menace slapped the room in the ears, like spiky exclamation points stabbing the gaps open for Earth, now a torpid, monolithic, blues-based, heavy-bottomed band with a focus and mettle as elegant as it is arid. Led by Dylan Carlson's pinpoint guitar lines and a rhythm section that plays with the slowest soul you'll ever hear, Earth was a case study in deliberate, perfect execution—and one long comedown from a week of business-of-booking worries. —Grayson Currin